Five cities in East China's Anhui province-Suzhou, Fuyang, Huaibei, Bengbu and Bozhou- have been included in the Central China Urban Agglomeration under a plan recently issued by the country's top economic regulator, Jianghuai Morning News reports.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) introduced a blueprint for 30 cities in Henan as well as the neighboring Shanxi and Anhui provinces, aiming to boost their economy as a whole and raise their competitive edge in a global context.
Under the plan, those five Anhui cities, all located in the north of the province, will enjoy a boost in sci-tech, tourism, culture, transport, environmental protection, public services and foreign trade.
A number of transport projects, for example, will be built in the agglomeration. In addition to the under-construction Shangqiu-Hefei-Hangzhou High-Speed Railway, there will be an intercity rail from Huaibei to Suzhou, Bengbu and Hefei, capital of Anhui province. Bengbu, Fuyang, Huaibei, Bozhou and Suzhou will give a facelift to local ports.
The plan calls for more efforts to participate in the country’s Belt and Road initiative and support Anhui’s bid for a free trade zone.
Moreover, the region will seek to host new international events while raising the profile of existing ones like the Anhui Investment and Trade Expo.
By 2020, the cluster’s urbanization rate will reach 56 percent. As its economic clout grows faster, it will play a more important role in international competitions by 2025, according to the plan.